Daimler "no intention" of selling Mercedes to Britain's richest man - Wolff
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has strongly refuted claims suggesting Daimler is ready to dilute its interest in Formula 1 and give up its majority ownership of the team to Britain's richest man.
Former team owner turned pundit Eddie Jordan claimed in a newspaper article that Ineos founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe was set to buy a 70% stake in the team. Mercedes has a 60% share, Wolff 30%, and the estate of the late Niki Lauda the remaining 10%.
While Ineos has become one of the Mercedes F1 team's principal partners, with the multi-national chemicals company carrying significant branding on the cars, Wolff has insisted Daimler is in F1 to stay, notably after recently re-signing the Concorde Agreement.
"People pick up bits and pieces and construct a story around it," said Wolff. "We have a magnificent relationship with Ineos.
"We are working together on several high-tech projects such as the America's cup, the cycling team. The partnership is very complimentary. We have the same ambitions with our sports teams and that's why Ineos is a partner of ours.
"Beyond that, everything is just speculation. Daimler has no intention of giving up the team, Ineos has no interest in buying a majority of the team and calling it like this, and I have no reason to depart from my shareholding, so there are plenty of things that are made up."
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Wolff has also insisted that the ongoing uncertainty of the team, despite Mercedes' continual denials to the contrary, is having an effect on his future and that of Lewis Hamilton.
It has long been suggested Wolff is to take a step back from his day-to-day handling of the team and move into a more advisory role, while Hamilton has yet to sign a new contract bearing in mind his current deal expires at the end of the year.
"The future of the team is absolutely clear," asserted Wolff. "It's the Mercedes Petronas AMG team and nothing is going to change that.
"In terms of Lewis and the wider discussions, and why we never find this time for the discussions between Lewis and myself is because we have had three triple-headers one after the other and now it is just about sitting down and counting it out."
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